Seattle Mayor Ed Murray recently announced a plan that asks resident to approve a $930 million transportation levy for the purpose of “transit reliability and access.” The plan adds $30 million to what Murray originally proposed and relies on a whopping 2.1 percent increase in taxable property—that’s more than double what Seattleites currently pay.
As Dori Monson points out, the new proposal reveal the astonishing hypocrisy of Murray and other Seattle officials who, for quite some time, have been grumbling over the high cost of living in Seattle. Particularly, the city’s high rent. MyNorthwest.com,
“But won’t increasing property taxes make Seattle less affordable than it is now? Dori points out that Mayor Murray says he wants to find ways to combat income inequality and unaffordable housing, but he’s increasing property taxes.
“‘I’d love to find out … Why he does things to make it worse,’ Dori said.
“There’s another concerning fact about the property tax increase: It’s not just property owners that will vote on it.
“‘There are thousands of people who are in apartments who are property tax exempt,’ Dori said. ‘They have no skin in the game. They can vote for higher and higher taxes and not be affected at all.’
‘Strap in,’ Dori added. ‘It’s going to be a bumpy ride.’”
Monson is correct. Murray’s plan would, ironically, make Seattle even more unaffordable. However, housing renters do have “skin in the game”… they just don’t realize that they do. Simply put, landlords often deal with an increase in property taxes by raising rents.
You can listen to Monson’s commentary here.